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After the death of Solomon, ten of the twelve tribes refuse to accept his son Rehoboam as their king. Jeroboam leads a revolt, and establishes his capital in Shechem. The kingdom then splits off into two entities, Israel in the north and Judah in the south. We learn about some of the corrupt leaders of the Kingdom of Israel, including King Ahab and his wife Jezebel.

The Splitting of the Kingdom

The Splitting of the Kingdom

A biblical history of the Jews

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The Splitting of the Kingdom: A biblical history of the Jews

After the death of Solomon, ten of the twelve tribes refuse to accept his son Rehoboam as their king. Jeroboam leads a revolt, and establishes his capital in Shechem. The kingdom then splits off into two entities, Israel in the north and Judah in the south. We learn about some of the corrupt leaders of the Kingdom of Israel, including King Ahab and his wife Jezebel.
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Rehoboam, Elijah, Jezebel, Naboth, Ahab, Jeroboam
Rabbi Mendel Dubov is the director of Chabad in Sussex County, NJ, and a member of faculty at the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, NJ.
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Marty Denver August 8, 2013

Heart of Judaism Take 2 You don’t agree that the sages have placed more emphasis on man and G-d vs between man and his neighbor. Let’s look at the facts. How much of our day is devoted to prayer? With 3 daily prayers, prayers before and after meals and for every occasion, it’s at least 2 hours a day and more if done with kavanah, ‘right intention’. That is opportunity lost: Time that could be devoted to volunteer work and strengthening family bonds. Doesn’t it violate the Torah’s command to not add laws? And what about the spirit of the Torah? Our Patriarchs meditated, ‘lasuach’, which is different than prayer as we do it today.

I have to keep my response limited to 1000 spaces. And I saw the above is 613 spaces. The gematria says it all. Reply

Marty Denver August 8, 2013

Sages You write sages never disagree with those who precede them because the former were more in tune with G-d. The Torah instructs us to go to our judges, not prior generations. It is why the Oral Law was verbal, so it doesn’t become fixated; that each generation evolve and grow. Moses’ grave is hidden from us so that we don’t visit and worship there, thus turning him into a god, yet we essentially do that with our sages and the Kotel. R Eliezer was trying to convince dozens of others to his point of view. He said, If the Law agrees with me, let heaven prove I’m right. A heavenly voice cried out, Why do argue with R. Eliezer? You know the law always agrees with him. R. Joshua quoted Deut 30:11-14 claiming heaven should not interfere. Human reasoning carries precedence over heavenly mandates. It declares independence in interpreting the Law. The sages defeated R. Eliezer though the heavens were on his side. And I disagree with R Joshua. I want to be on G-d’s side, not our sages. Reply

Mendel Dubov Sparta, NJ July 29, 2013

Heart of Judaism The meaning of a principle of Jewish faith is a foundation. If you pull it out, nothing else can stand. "Do not murder" is a very important commandment, but it is conceivable that a Torah could be given without it. Not so with a foundation. The divinity of Torah, for example, is a principal - take that away and the Torah loses all value. There is a very interesting explanation as to why Moshiach is part of this group - it goes beyond the scope of this response, but is available in English and online. Maimonides did not decide which are principals - he collected those ideas which are foundations and enumerated them.

I cannot agree that the sages have placed less emphasis on "between man and his fellow" than "between man and G-d". The situation today is that the countries we live in have civil laws which in effect become Torah law (as long as they do not clash). The country does not make laws upholding the "between man and G-d". That is left to the rabbinate. So the rabbinate makes more of those rules than civil ones. Reply

Mendel Dubov Sparta, NJ July 29, 2013

Golden calf "Would Moshe destroy the tablet for the sins of only 3,000 etc" - As previously commented, most of the people wanted an exchange for MOSES not for G-d. A small segment made it an idol. It was still very wrong, though not idolatry for most of them. The Ohr Hachaim is available in English (Translation by Rabbi Eliyahu Munk, published by Urim Publications)
Differing in opinion with a sage: This is a broad subject. As far as this particular example: Every other science is a matter of analyzing something in this world and coming up with the best solution. Torah on the other hand, is G-dly wisdom. So an opinion it Torah is weighed not just on basis of scholarship but also on saintliness. This is why the sages of the Talmud will never disagree with those who wrote the Mishna, and those who came after the Talmud never disagree with Talmud. Even if they have a very strong argument. They felt that the generations before were more in tune with G-dliness than they. Reply

Marty Denver May 13, 2013

Golden calf Reference who worshipped the calf: I’ve read Rashi’s commentaries and others. What I said is a result of what seems most plausible given the text and other interpretations. Another point: Would Moshe destroy the tablet for the sins of only 3,000 given that there were about 2,600,000? 3,000 represent less than 1% of the people. Moshe wouldn’t even have noticed them in that large a group.
You asked that I refer to Or Hachaim but I don't see where it's available online. An important difference that I've experienced is that if Rashi, Rambam, Hillel, Akiva or any of our great sages say something, it ends the discussion. I don't argue that they are brilliant or they don't have the best of intentions, I simply don't think they are infallible. The only time I see traditionalists willing to differ with them is if another sage of equal stature does so. As one chavrusa said: If there are 3 Talmudic perspectives, then I have 3 choices. That's it." Does G-d want us to negate ourselves? Reply

Marty Denver May 13, 2013

Heart of Judaism You: “Prophets and Moshiach are of the principals of the Jewish faith. Without them, there is no Judaism." Judaism is a verb. Without good deeds to others and giving G-d His due, there is no Judaism. It wasn’t until Rambam declared that the Moshiach is an article of faith that it became one. I studied the Talmudic tract in Sanhedrin concerning the moshiach. There was no consensus about what the moshiach was, is or will be or whether or not much of the concept is a metaphor. That we hope for a moshiach is understandable, especially given all the struggle in the world and the promises in Isaiah ch 11. I’ve never studied the prophets anywhere near as much as the Torah but from what I can glean, they are about less emphasis on ritual to G-d and more on helping those with whom we share the earth. I am not saying leave one for the other. I do see where we’ve added laws regarding our relationship with G-d. The result is opportunity lost lost to help others. Reply

Mendel Dubov Sparta, NJ May 12, 2013

Miracle maker 1) Rambam is writing his book to readers that believe Moses was a man of G-d and not a magician - a practice the Torah forbids under death penalty. Mistaking "the symbol for the reality" is idolatry. I think Rambam has a right to write the way he does assuming that the reader will understand that he - the author - is not an idolater, as he himself would render it (Laws of Idolatry Ch. 1).
2) As to the who sinned with the golden calf and how, please consult the major commentaries (Rashi, Ramban, Kli Yakar). in a nutshell: Most of the people wanted an exchange for Moses not for G-d. A small segment made it an idol. The above lies in the literal text when read carefully.
3) "Rambam directs our attention to the prophets and moshiach. It should be on understanding the prophets’ messages in relation to the Torah".
What makes one more important than the other? Prophets and Moshiach are of the principals of the Jewish faith. Without them, there is no Judaism.
"But we can see from the Torah and prophets that we need to focus more on how we treat each other rather than making more laws in our relation to G-d".
There are Mitzvos between man and his fellow and between man and G-d. Leaving one and taking the other are equally wrong. quoting verses that emphasize one of them can always be countered by a verse that emphasizes the other. How did you reach such a conclusion? Reply

Mendel Dubov Sparta, NJ May 9, 2013

Moses' sin Please see "Or Hachaim" Bamidbar 20:7 for ten (!) possible explanations on the sin of Moses and how he emerges with an explanation to his satisfaction. Rashi makes it clear in his commentary that he collected that which he renders to be the simple meaning of the verse. Please also see "Or Hachaim" Ex 4:22 for an explanation in apparent contradiction of the instruction in Ex 4:22-23 vs what Moses says in Ex 5:1. Reply

Marty Denver April 29, 2013

Miracle maker You write it is obvious G-d is performing miracles and not Moses. We are physical so we understand and relate to the physical. G-d is incorporeal and so it is easy to believe in animism and idols to represent nature’s forces. Once you have a representation, it is a short step to mistake the symbol for the reality. That is the main reason why Moses is only mentioned once in the Haggadah. The emphasis needs to be on G-d.
You write only 3000 served the calf. Please reconcile with Ex 32, the chapter implies it was the entire nation. It was only the leaders who were punished with death.
Rambam directs our attention to the prophets and moshiach. It should be on understanding the prophets’ messages in relation to the Torah. I’ve studied the Sanhendrin tract on the moshiach. Neither our sages nor us today can comprehend the concept. But we can see from the Torah and prophets that we need to focus more on how we treat each other rather than making more laws in our relation to G-d. Reply

Marty Denver April 29, 2013

Moses' sin I’m aware Rashi says Moses sin is that he struck the rock instead of speaking to it. I’ve heard another commentator, perhaps it was Milgrom or Sarna, offer the explanation I mentioned, that Moses’ sin was he didn’t sanctify G-d by saying G-d will bring forth water. Instead, Num 20:10 Moses implies it was he and Aaron who were doing the miracle. Which is a greater sin that would warrant banishment from entering the Promised Land? A slip of the tongue or claiming credit for a miracle rather than giving it to G-d? G-d warns against hubris in Deut 8:18. So in the heat of anger, as Moses is upset with his people and he mistakenly hit the rock rather than speaking to it. We’ve seen Moses make a similar mistake before. Compare what G-d commands Moses to say to Pharoah Ex 4:22-23 vs what Moses says in Ex 5:1. Wouldn’t G-d warn Moses to be more careful if the sin was going to be so costly? That is why sanctifying G-d by giving Him credit is probably Moses' sin. Reply

Mendel Dubov Sparta, NJ April 21, 2013

Reply 1) The sin of Moses at the rock was that he HIT the rock instead of speaking to it (as he was instructed). See Rashi there.
2) Korach’s accusation on Moses was just this. I don’t think Rambam is repeating this infamies biblical mistake. The Torah describes Moses as “A man of G-d”. A man who is a “G-d conductor”. A physical existence that is transparent to G-dliness. When “Moses” performs a miracle it is more than obvious what is happening here. Unless to someone blinded by self-love as Korach.
3) When Moshiach comes all holidays will be “like candle light in the midst of the bright daylight”. The G-dly revelation of this time will surpass that of all the festivals. Besides Purim. The Torah is eternal and nothing can or will ever be abrogated. The house of Shamai, it says, had a deep insight in Torah which is not understood today. When Moshiach comes, we will understand their perspective and therefore rule like them. Un-kosher food will not be permitted. It says that a pig will become Kosher because it will feature the symbols of a Kosher animal.
4) Only 3000 out of a few million served the calf. As for them, free choice is always there. We don’t understand today the deep urge for idolatry. The Talmud compares it to the urge today for sexual misconduct.
5) “Abrogate the law” – could you tell me where you are referring to? Reply

Marty Denver April 11, 2013

Reply: Rambam on false prophets I read the chapters and I'm troubled by what Rambam said. He credits Moses with splitting the sea, providing manna, etc..It's reminisent of Moses and the rock: His sin wasn't that he hit the rock but that he told the people that he and Aaron will bring forth water. He did not sanctify G-d by saying it is G-d who does these things.. Num 20:12. Isn't Rambam doing the same thing, crediting Moses instead of G-d? Last week a Chabad article said when the moshiach comes, we'll only celebrate Purim, all other holidays will be abrogated.How do you reconcile that? I've also heard that we will practice by Shammai instead of Hillel; or unkosher foods will be permitted. Rambam quotes Ex 19:9 where G-d says His appearance will ensure people will believe in Him forever. Yet, shortly afterwards, the people are building a calf. Rambam doesn't reconcile why would G-d say that when He knows the people will cease believing in Him? Also, did you have someone in mind when you talked about abrogate the law? Reply

Debra January 19, 2013

Just a bystander Love you Love you! don't have to listen to them fake teachers out there .Keep doing what you are doing. No more church for me I will just listen to you web site.

Thank you, Reply

Mendel Dubov Sparta January 16, 2013

Recognize false prophet Marty,

In response to your question: Please look up Rambam (Maimonides) Book of Madah, Laws of "Yesodae Hatorah", Chapters 8 and 9.
Chabad.org offers The English translation of the Rambam. Reply

Ben Montenegro January 5, 2013

Good lesson. Thank you Rabbi Dubov. Reply

Marty Denver January 3, 2013

Recognize false prophet For clarity, it's my understanding the Torah only says that a false prophet can be recognized if his words do not materialize. Deut 18:22
If the prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, and the thing does not occur and does not come about, that is the thing the Lord did not speak. The prophet has spoken it wantonly; you shall not be afraid of him.
I don't see where it defines a false prophet as one who abrogates the law.
Thank you. Reply

rut USA December 31, 2012

The Splitting of the Kingdoms Rabbi Dubov, wonderful teaching. What I like most is that you use the names in Hebrew and this is good for me since I want to learn Hebrew. Also studying the Neviim is wonderful thing. I have the TaNak, but like to hear it from a Rabbi. Thank you. Reply

john howell canada December 31, 2012

I'm interested in my ancestry Reply

Irene Glen Burnie, MD USA December 12, 2012

The splitting of the Kingdom Shalom Rabbi Dubov: Enjoyed your teaching on this subject. Very informative. Looking forward to more of your lessons. Many blessings from G-d be upon you. Reply

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